Land release for tender: relief mechanisms
New land released
On 14 May 2020, Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham released an additional 6,700 square kilometres across 12 land parcels in the Bowen and Surat basins for petroleum and gas exploration.
The release covers five regional areas:
- 2501 km2 near Rolleston;
- 2642 km2 between Blackwater and Banana;
- 882 km2, south of Theodore;
- 703 km2, 30 km south of Moonie; and
- 18 km, 15km south-west of Wandoan.
As with other recent releases, 872km2 of the newly released land will be subject to the Australian market supply condition which restricts the supply of gas to the Australian domestic market. It is not yet clear whether any other restrictions (including in relation to tenement transfer) will be imposed in relation to the latest release.
Applications must be made by 9 July 2020 and the tender outcome will be advised in September 2020.
The latest release comes in the wake of the recently announced rent relief packages in South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia. Under the package, exploration permit and authority to prospect rent payable between 1 April to 30 September 2020 may be waived for a period of 12 months. Eligible exploration companies will be contacted directly by DNRME.
Other methods of assistance under review (but not yet announced) include the following:
- the removal of application fees for special variations of authority to prospect work programs;
- capping of all other fees and charges under the Petroleum Act 1923 (Qld) and the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld) at 2019–20 rates; and
- recognition that COVID-19 is an exceptional event that may require explorers to vary work programs and/or relinquishment conditions.
Explorers are invited to apply for amendments to work programs and relinquishment conditions through the MyMinesOnline system and the application is free of charge.
Please contact our team if you require assistance with your tender application or wish to discuss the relief or other options that may be available in relation to your tenement holdings.
This publication covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. It is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.